Advice Shifts on Feeding Baby
Advice abounds for new parents wondering what to feed their baby and when. But the recommendations have changed and continue to over time.
In particular, there has been a turnabout with regard to allergies and infant feeding. Until five years ago, medical experts told parents to manage with care the introduction of foods most likely to cause allergic reactions.
“It was thought that if you expose the baby to these foods early on in life, that tends to skew toward allergies and you become an allergic person,” said Dr. Amal H. Assa’ad, professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s.
“Our thinking now is this has failed, and maybe we should go back to the opposing idea, actually introducing these foods earlier when the body has more tendency to be tolerant,” she said.
Dr. Assa’ad was part of a group which put together new recommendations, published in January in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. The strongest recommendation for preventing allergic disease was breast-feeding, but the authors also concluded that highly allergenic foods — like cow’s milk, eggs and even products made with peanuts — may be introduced even before a year, though they should not be among the first solid foods that a baby gets.